Summer Practice for Wintry Show
While providing useful visualization prompts to improve marching technique, Paul Heuer,
Director of Bands for Lovejoy High School, said during a summer band practice, “Use your
imagination. Think of your upper body as a musician. Think of your lower body as an athlete.”
Heuer gleans this advice, and much more, from his 20 years of directing bands. This will be his
fourth year with LISD.
Explaining how they train incoming freshman on proper marching skills, Heuer said, “We start
with the basics of body control and posture while (they are) still and then start one step at a time
both forwards and backwards...and then eventually, add playing their instruments to it.”
The full band began practicing on July 30, and will continue until school starts on Aug. 20.
When school resumes, they will practice before school an hour each morning. The leadership
team had a two day retreat in July. The drum line and color guard had a week long camp in July.
The show this year is titled, “Silent Night”. It will incorporate music by Tchaikovsky and
Prokofiev. Field props and artwork will evoke images of a cold, winter evening.
Heuer explains the benefits of students being members of the band, “The goal of the LHS band is
to satisfy the emotional and artistic needs and talents of our students with music making while
building the intellectual and problem solving skills that can only be learned in a group
activity. We hear more and more each year of the skills businesses are looking for in their new
recruits, and it is not just things you can learn anywhere. We hope all of our kids are lifelong
musicians in some way after they leave us, but we know all of them develop life and social skills
they will use the rest of their lives to be successful adults.”
All members of the band are in marching band. There are band placement auditions for classes
during the school day. There are 130 band members, up from 120 members last year.